Menorcasam67 Member Posts: 3
edited 31. Mar 2016, 05:24 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi all,
I have suffered with rheumatoid arthritis for 16 year's, in which time I've been prescribed many drug's. For the past 3/4 year's I've been receiving Remicade (infliximab) which seems to be keeping thing's at bay!
Enter new consultant. I've seen her for a matter of minutes on two occasions, the last being 3 weeks ago when she tried to reduce my treatment because I looked good, plus told me I didn't need a new knee just by glancing at my deformed left knee encased in jeans. Without seeing any notes from my past 3 consultants or looking at xrays.
I've now received a letter telling me I'm going to be infused with the cheapest of the two similar drug's called "Remsima" or "Infectquestion, my question is, have anyone any knowledge of either or these drug's as i've looked on line and they seem to still being tested. I'm obviously concerned because I've no wish to go back from where Remicade has saved me from.
Many Thanks for your time. :D


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    Well, what can you say to that! I can't help from personal experience but I do know how I would feel if my meds were replaced with bargain basement ones.

    A good start would be to ring or post to the Helplines here on Arthritis Care. They have their own thread or give them a ring, the number is at the top of the page. They will know these drugs and know how they work and if they would be a step forward for you.

    Take care
    Mod Yvonne
  • Menorcasam67
    Menorcasam67 Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you so much for your reply, nice to see it's not just me being picky.
    I shall take your advice.
    Kind regards
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Picky? Far from it, you have found a drug that is working to a good degree and surely it must be your choice to remain on it. I was once affected by cost but only on anti-inflammatories. Celebrex was perfect for me but my GPs surgery changed it to omeprazole and naproxen which turned out to be utterly useless.

    Stand your ground on this - and maybe see another rheumatologist who is actually interested in you. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I well understand your fears. Any new med is a big fear for us as so much can go wrong. On a smaller scale I had a similar thing when generic prescribing was introduced and my voltarol was changed to the generic diclofenac which upset my stomach. Fortunately, my GP was great amd simply insisted I had voltarol.

    With our meds so costly and the NHS under so much pressure to get out of the red it's no suprise bio-similars are welcomed as they will be so much cheaper and may enable many, who couldn't previously, to access biological meds. This will be of absolutely no consolation to you but, chemically, the biosimilars should be identical to the originally patented meds. (My GP felt that my problem with diclos was in the coating around them.)

    I hope you'll find the new works as well as the old though I'd be every bit as apprehensive as you are.

    (That's a lot of rheumatologists. Do you, just going by your username, live in UK or do you live in Menorca?)
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Menorcasam67
    I am sorry to hear that your new consultant is seeming to be unhelpful, it is really hard when you are used to your old consultant and they are used to you too. That relationship is so important if you are to feel confident in the treatment you are being recommended.

    Whilst I recognise that your issue is not just about the drugs I thought it might be useful for you to have more information on these. Firstly Infectquestion have been approved for use in RA by NICE. It is a biosimilar drug to Remicade (infliximab) as you rightly say this drug is still under research. This is because drugs are always tested post launch – called phase IV. This is because in clinical trials numbers of people in the trials maybe in the hundreds. If there is say a side effect which occurs in 1 in every 100,000 say, it may not be picked up in trials. This is true for all new drugs in the first few years of their release. Whilst this may not help you because you want to stay on Remicade which I understand it is how all drugs are first licensed in the UK.

    The FDA approved Remsima stating:
    ‘The independent panel determined that clinical trials of Remsima showed no clinically significant differences with Remicade in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and a related condition ankylosing spondylitis.’

    However it would seem that you are unhappy with what your consultant has said. If you do feel unhappy or you feel that you have not been heard, according to the NHS you are entitled to a second opinion
    I hope this helps
    Best wishes
    Moderator Sharon